Poetry corner: ‘Racing down the sun’

rdta

My train to Dublin was at 4.20pm. I was in town by 2.30. This was not an accident. I was on a mission. My intention was to visit the Limerick City Gallery of Art which is located about a hundred metres from the train station. This beautiful old building dates from 1906 and is located on Pery Square in the city.  The exhibitions change every few months. So each time I am home I make a point to pay it a visit to check out the latest display. Continue reading Poetry corner: ‘Racing down the sun’

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Concert: Deacon Blue live at the Big Top

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The Milk Market in Limerick is open for trade every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – selling an assortment of foods and clothing in a semi-sheltered environment. While it is not a fully indoors market like the English Market in Cork, it has for the past decade had a large canopy over it, to protect the traders and the punters from inclement weather. A very pleasant place. Continue reading Concert: Deacon Blue live at the Big Top

The ‘C-word’

patriarchy

Very occasionally my employer will organise a talk on a topic that is not work related, but of interest to the staff. Examples include talks for the female employees about how to network, to advance careers in an industry that is largely male dominated, at the more senior level (which I didn’t attend seeing as I am of the male sex). Or about how to create a work life balance (which I didn’t attend as it coincided with the introduction of the working from home policy – on that day I was staring at the canal from my living room window.) I was present for today’s talk, and happy to attend. The title was ‘Let’s talk about cancer’, and featured as its guest speaker, an oncology nurse from a Dublin hospital. Continue reading The ‘C-word’

Sunday, bloody Sunday

offaly

Thanks to the inclement weather, a walk in the park seemed unwise. A decision had to be made. I was not going to loll about the house like a sack of meal that Sunday afternoon. I put on my stylish anorak and headed outdoors. My first stop was to the coffee-shop near my house, where a caffeine-infused warm beverage (a coffee) was drank). Over the river I trotted. I was walking past Pearse Street Station on Westland Row when the skies opened. Into Saint Andrew’s Church I went for shelter. That’s one of the functions of a church I think. I was reading the history of the church on the plaque on the wall (built in 1832, three years after the Catholic Emancipation Act which legalised catholic churches, it is quite a splendid building in that gaudy catholic style). I was admiring the interior when a Polish priest approached me and told me that the church was closed. I departed. Continue reading Sunday, bloody Sunday

To the theatre darling: ‘Men at play’

Gubbeen

I received a text on Wednesday night from a friend. She recommended that I haul my grizzled old carcass to the Complex on Little Green Street at my earliest convenience, to see Good Dog Theatre’s latest work – a play called ‘Men at play’. She thought I would enjoy it. Seeing as I am a person of easy persuasion (but very high virtue) I decided that Thursday evening would be the occasion I would attend. Continue reading To the theatre darling: ‘Men at play’

It’s grim up north: ‘Roll on four o’clock’

LL

One of my advisers informed me that the British Film Institute has an online media player, which contains a database of British films.  These can either be rented or viewed for free. He then sent me a link to a film contained on the site, called ‘Roll on four o’clock’ that he thought I might appreciate. (Note that I do not use the word ‘enjoy’ for reasons that will be explained momentarily). Released in 1970 as a TV drama as part of ITV’s Saturday Night Theatre, ‘Roll on Four O’Clock’ was written by Colin Welland (who ten years later would win the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for ‘Chariots of Fire’). Set in an all-boys working class school in Manchester, the film concerns itself with Peter Latimer – an acned teenager who is the subject of homophobic bullying, because he’s not like the other boys. The all-male teaching staff are no support. With the exception of art teacher Max Fielder (played by Clive Swift, who’s better known as Richard Bucket – Hyacinth’s long suffering husband in ‘Keeping up appearances’) who tries to protect him from the machinations of his teachers and fellow pupils; and who tries to nurture the creative instincts of the boys. Fielder is an outsider also. Continue reading It’s grim up north: ‘Roll on four o’clock’

U2: The Experience and Innocence tour

JimmysHall-Landscape

Being Irish, U2 is a band that has been totally unavoidable throughout my life. Since their international breakthrough almost forty years ago they have been inescapable on the musical and cultural landscape of my home country. Indisputably U2 is the most commercially successful musical act in Irish history. Even between musical projects, lead singer Bono has become a spokesperson and advocate for various global charity projects and initiatives. While I wouldn’t ever have been a massive U2 fan – they were a little bit too bloviatingly heterosexual for my refined taste – I tended to enjoy their songs and would sing along with gusto when they played on the wireless. In more recent years I developed a greater appreciation of them. Their song ‘Sometimes you can’t make it on your own’ was about the death of Bono’s father was quite beautiful. I still wouldn’t hold them in too high of an esteem but I enjoyed them. Continue reading U2: The Experience and Innocence tour

Weekend with Murphy

Leopardprint

The weekend began at 3pm on Friday when I left my office in the wastelands on foot. My destination was a palace of consumerism – the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. Anyone who knows me will be aware of my physical and psychological aversion to shopping. So you’d be forgiven for wondering why I’d choose to visit such a hellish place. Well The Mammy was in town for the day with The Sister, so we’d arranged to meet for coffee. They were only on a stop off at the shopping centre. Their final destination was the 7th Circle of Hell – also known as IKEA.  I hadn’t the slightest notion of entering that offensive Swedish maze with them. It is closer to my house however so I thought I’d avail of a lift. Upon arrival I bid farewell to the family and wandered towards the traffic. I spent about quarter of an hour meandering around the car park, before finally exiting the grounds of IKEA. I walked in the direction of town. Upon arrival at a bus stop I saw that the next vehicle was due in nineteen minutes. Even though it was dark and rainy I continued. A night-time stroll in Ballymun was a novelty for me. I had never been in Ballymun before. Once notorious for its crime-ridden tower blocks, it has recently been on a mission to spruce itself up. I was taken by the smell of chip fat in the air. Continue reading Weekend with Murphy

Not today, Satan!

JimmysHall-Landscape

In precisely one week I will have been employed in my current job for three full years. Tomorrow marks my three year anniversary since I slunk back to Dublin after my fifteen year holiday in Amsterdam (followed by the three months of decompression in Limerick). I have now spent more than enough time here to have overcome any teething problems I experienced during my glorious return. If I have any issues (and I do) then these are not related to being new in town. Continue reading Not today, Satan!